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storm approaching

I will praise you in the storm and I will lift my hands; for You are who You are, no matter where I am.

We are literally watching prophecy unfold before our eyes as the recent events with Palestine and the U.N. are setting the stage for the coming apocalyptic storm. Changes are taking place all over this world and the darkness of evil as the hearts of most have grown cold.  Is there hope for those who have put their trust in Christ or will we be destroyed along with the rest of the unbelieving world?

The blessed truth is that there is a perfect plan unfolding for those who refuse to be moved from their position in Christ.  You may feel like you are too overwhelmed to continue in the battles you face, but the power of God is always the conquering force within you in all of your struggles.  There is not a moment that your future is ever compromised by  problems in your life.   You have been given the guarantee of victory in all things.  God is working his divine, eternal destiny through every single one of them.

We read in Isaiah 40:31, “but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.”   Those who can trust that God is still sovereign in their darkest struggle and pain shall not go unrewarded.  He will give you the power and hope you need to stay in the race and not give up.   It was by his grace that you were taken this far and he will not let you be destroyed now.   Surrender your fears and frustrations to God and let him give you his peace to endure.

As the news brings stories of wars, famines, earthquakes, and fierce storms of every kind, we rest in the knowledge that God is using it all to fulfill his plan of salvation to the very end of time.  It is a troubling time for everyone but your prayers for help are being heard by Christ who knew your name long before you were ever born.  In Daniel 9:18, Daniel lifts his voice to God saying, ” For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness but because of your great mercy.”    It is the love of God that we call upon in times of trouble.  He sees beyond our weakness and failure and is willing to help us in spite of it all.

Do not be surprised at the evil going on for we are told in God’s word that there will be a spirit of deception that will fill this earth in the ending days.  Those who belong to Christ have nothing to  be anxious over for your future is secure as God has ordained every one of your days.  Jesus told us that we would still be able to have joy despite our many problems because he has overcome the impact of every single one of them.  By his authority, all things that come against you must work into the plan that he has for your life.  You cannot lose when you belong to Christ. This world may be perishing but believers have a royal heritage that transcends the boundaries of this life.  We are being tried and tested as the refining fires are molding us into the image of Christ.

It may seem like your prayer has not been answered or that your struggle is getting worse but the God who calls out each star by name without losing one is certainly not going to lose you in any battle that you face.  You are a winner and your destiny is sealed.  Don’t let your pain weaken your faith.  There is always the hope you need to carry on for your steps are guided by the hand of God.  Lift up your eyes to the hills from whence comes your help. Hold on, dear believer!  Your God sees where you are and he will rescue you.

We are nearing the end of the race.  Christ is coming soon to bring us to our home with him.  The increase of evil is a sign that the devil is growing anxious knowing that his time is short.  God’s power and authority are unchanging.  He is still in control of everything. All things will work out according to his purpose.

My heart and prayers are with all who are going through serious problems and struggles.  You may feel like you are alone but you never will be! 

 I am humbly asking all  who visit here to remember and pray for our brothers and sisters in restricted nations who are being persecuted for their faith.  We must stand with them for they are one with us in Christ.

                       Jesus said to him,”What do you want me to do for you?”

 Sometimes it seems like Jesus will never get around to helping you out of your struggle.  You have prayed and waited but nothing seems to have changed. Does he even see your pain?  Why is it taking so long? You soon feel lost and alone in the darkness of your troubles. 

In Mark 10:46, we read about a blind man named Bartimaeus.  He lived in Jericho where all he could do was sit on the side of the road and beg for help.  But on this one day, he heard the commotion of a crowd coming by.  “What could be causing the people to be so excited?” he probably wondered.  Someone  then told him that it was Jesus of Nazareth who was heading this way.

Bartimaeus must have been overjoyed knowing that Jesus was nearby.  I can only imagine how his heart quickened and his pulse raced as hope began to fill his heart!  He had heard about this man.  Many were made whole and healed of all their diseases by his touch.  Some were set free from demons and others brought back to life.   All he knew was that he needed to get to Jesus before it was too late.  But Bartimaeus was blind and the crowd sounded large. What could he do?  He didn’t have his sight,  but he did have a voice.  He cried out with all that he had , “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”.   Many people in the crowd rebuked him, telling him to be silent.  Silent? That would never happen!  The King of kings was near.  This blind man had no intention letting a chance to be touched by the Great Physician just pass him by.  He called all the louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  The Scripture then tells us that Jesus stopped and he said to those near to call him up.  When Bartimaeus heard this, he threw off his cloak and sprang up and came to Jesus!  Jesus asked him,” What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Rabbi, let me see.”  And Jesus then told him to go his way saying ” Your faith has made you well”.  And immediately, Bartimaeus received his sight and followed him on the way.  This day had changed his life.  He not only received his sight, but he was forgiven of his sins.   All this happened because he believed that Jesus was all that he needed.

My friends, do you feel like you are in darkness as your troubles leave no light of hope?  The truth is that if you belong to Christ, he will always find a way to meet you in your struggle and draw you to himself.  He will reach through the crowd and take you to a place of healing and peace.  Nothing is impossible to him who knew you before you were born.

 Never lose sight of the truth that in each battle you face, you are completely surrounded by angels dispatched from God to protect and guide you.  Your cries do not go unanswered.  He hears your every plea and he cares.  The redeemed of the Lord cannot be destroyed by the slings and arrows of the enemy.  Every single detail of your life from birth to death has been arranged and made perfect.  You cannot fail.  The enemy may taunt you with oppression and lies but you are protected by heaven’s royal guard!  That  is the truth that sets you free.  Christ became your burden-bearer when he conquered the world and deprived it of its power to  crush you. 

Whatever trial you are facing, beloved, remember that it is all under the authority of Christ.  Let God accomplish the work that he has begun in you.  Whatever time he deems necessary for you to continue in your struggle is specifically designed to equip you for the  work he has chosen  for your life.  It is a royal assignment and not without merit.  All those whom God has chosen to do his greatest work have  received their  power as they patiently trusted him during a time when all hope seemed gone.   You must remain steadfast and stand the test in order to receive the crown of life that Jesus has promised to those who love him.   You are never alone and never without hope!

Dear Lord, we are living in ending days as the enemy increases his efforts to cause trouble and pain in the lives of your people.  Help us to hold on even when we feel weary.  I pray for blessings and strength for those who are facing hardships and trials of every kind.  I pray for marriages and relationships  to be restored.  I lift up all those who are facing financial struggles and see no end in sight.  I pray for you to help those who are under bondage to addictions and sin issues that are draining them of life.  I pray for those who are lonely and brokenhearted.  May they feel a very real sense of your presence and love.  I pray for those who are being persecuted for their faith.  May you give them a sense of peace  and joy in the midst of their suffering for you, dear Lord.  Protect and bless Israel and her leaders.  I pray for the eyes of your people to be opened to the truth of Christ as their Messiah.   Lord, may you work all things out for good to those who love you.  Show them that you are very near and that you will not fail.  To those who do not know you as Lord and Savior, dear Jesus, I pray for you to reveal yourself to them in a very personal way.  Help us all to stand in faith as we patiently wait for your return .  Give us your strength to fight the good fight and stay in the race.  Amen

I am praying for all who come to this site.  May you take rest knowing that Christ has a message just for you.

              You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again. (Psalm 71:20)

The battles we face in this world are making all of us weary.  The enemy’s attacks are getting stronger as the forces of evil seek to wound and discourage those who belong to Christ.  Many believers are crying out for Christ to return soon and save them from all this darkness.  We are indeed in the devil’s crosshairs and he is not backing down.  His plan is to kill your hope, steal your joy and destroy your future.  His arsenal is filled with weapons of lies and discouragement aimed toward every believer.  His fiery darts of fear and doubt can pierce the hearts of struggling saints causing some to wonder if God really hears their prayers.  We are all suffering the effects of a fallen world as we endure hardship of every kind.  As difficult as it may seem, the truth remains the victory of Christ is at the core of a  believer’s every trial.

I read a great quote by Christian singer Wintley Phipps which said:

It is in the quiet crucible of your personal, private suffering that your noblest dreams are born and God’s greatest gifts are given, in compensation for what you have been through.”

That  profound truth should give hope to those who are going through serious trials.  Keep in mind that all  we fear is under God’s sovereign authority and plan.   Our battles have been won, and although we still must fight the good fight, believers are guaranteed the victory.  Those who belong to Christ are already standing in the winner’s circle surrounded by God’s angels.  We are not alone nor left to fend for ourselves.  We are a chosen people who will one day rule with Christ in heaven.  The forces of hell and the darkness of this world cannot stop the royal future that Jesus died to give us.  He has gone to prepare a place for us so wonderful that our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend the beauty that awaits us.

 As great as that promise is, it may sound hollow right now when all you want to do is cry.  Your painful trial is causing you to bow your head in sadness. Trouble seems unending.  But true believers must trust their God no matter how impossible their situation seems.  The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:12 that as we face trials we are to” “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”   That is what sets us apart from the world. We have faith that in all things, our God is enough.  He will not leave us alone or allow us to perish.  In the book of James, we are told, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. ”   You can have peace even when it seems that all hope is gone when you understand in your heart that in the end, God has the plan!  He is not waiting for you to be stronger, wiser or holier before he will help you.  He already has the plan worked out.  Tomorrow is in his hands and he will accomplish his purpose for you.

In Exodus 14,  God led Moses and Israelites away from Egypt as Pharaoh and his army pursued them.  As the army approached, the people of Israel feared greatly.  They had come to the bank of the Red Sea and had no way to cross . Moses saw the enemy too but he told the people, “The Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent”.   God then told Moses to lift his staff over the sea and divide it. After that, God did something amazing.  All through the desert, the Angel of God, who was Jesus, led the Israelites by going in front of them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  However, when they got to the Red Sea, the Angel of God, who was in front of the Israelites moved and went behind them. The pillar of fire also stood behind them coming between the army of Egypt and the people of Israel.  God had the Israelites back!  He protected them as the enemy drew near. There was no way that Pharaoh was going to destroy God’s people.  In the end, God led his people to safety from between the parted water and used that same water to destroy the Egyptian army.  God made a way where there was none!

Wounded warriors, never doubt that God is going to make a way for you too. He has your back covered!  Your impossible situation is under his authority and he knows how to make it work out in his perfect plan for you.  I don’t care how bad it seems right now, there is always hope if you will surrender it to Christ to do as he pleases.  Be strong and believe.  Remember discouragement is a lying spirit which ushers in doubt.  Take your thoughts captive and line them up with the truth.  We are so close to the glorious appearing of Christ.  He is with your right now – you have only to be silent!

Dear Lord,  make this truth clear to those who need your help now.  Give hope to those who are facing battles that leave them wounded and feeling alone. Strengthen those with serious medical issues.  Comfort those who are having marriage problems and relationship issues.  Bless and provide for those with financial problems.  I know, my Lord that you are in every one fo these struggles and you have the plan to work them out according to your purpose.   Please Jesus,  keep our eyes on you and not on our circumstance.  Our hope is in you!  Amen

  I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? (Psalm 121:1-2)

We have all suffered setbacks in our lives. In this time of uncertainty,  our personal struggles can bring fear and doubt into our lives.  It is hard enough to survive much less have any hope for the future.  We are told in Scripture that God sends the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  Why is that?  I mean if you are trying to live and do what is right, why must you endure  such the same hardship as  evildoers?

God always has  a plan.  For believers, whether you are experiencing a time of peace in your life or enduring the heat of a painful struggle, you have the assurance of knowing that all things are being directed by the hand of God.  When it seems as though you are being defeated, it just means that your victory is near.  There is nothing to fear in any battle  for the war of life has already been won at the cross! Jesus has made you a conqueror over all that comes against you. For that reason,  the enemy’s tactic is to fill your mind with despair and hopelessness since he knows that you can never be destroyed.  He is attempting to kill, steal and destroy the hope you have been given in Christ.  Never surrender to him what Christ has paid a price to give you!

While we await the return of Christ, we are going to face trials of every kind.     Although you may be feeling overwhelmed in your pain,  God is always in control with full authority to bring your sufferings under submission to his will. Everything, big or small, is  being worked out for the best for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.   If you become anxious and hopeless in the midst of a trial, it is because you are listening to the lies of an enemy who has no power over you.  There will never be a need too great or a heartache so painful that the amazing, never-failing love of Christ cannot heal.   

The consequence of sin and evil is all around us.  Sadly, most people have become lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.  But even as darkness fills the earth for all creation, God has provided a way for the righteous to escape.  In the days of Noah, we read in Genesis 6:5, “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only for evil. “   Although the rain flooded the earth killing everything that walked on it, Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD and he and his family was spared.  God knows how to rescue the righteous from their troubles no matter how impossible it may seem. 

Those who put their hope in the things of this world will perish with it. No one is exempt from the trials of this world, but the faithful who trust in the cross of Christ shall never fall.  God has a deliberate, eternal purpose in allowing trials in the life of believers.  You are being molded and shaped for the world to come.  He is preparing a place of royalty in heaven for you that will more than compensate for your momentary troubles here on earth.

David was a young man anointed by God to be King of Israel.  Yet for many years he had to live his life in hiding from King Saul who wanted him dead.  In Psalm 23, David wrote, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”  He was a man who believed that God could keep his promise to make him King even though things looked bad.  He  continued to trust his God and not his circumstance! David knew that  God was with him despite the fact that Saul’s whole army was out to kill him. 

Your battles are not yours to fight when you surrender them to Christ.  Whatever valley of despair you may be in right now, remember that it is not your permanent location. It is actually a meeting place where you come to the knowledge and understanding of the God of all your strength.     

David trusted and knew that his struggles were just an opportunity for God to show his power.  In Psalm 18:18, David wrote: “ He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters”.  

Whatever deep waters of problems that you have, take hope knowing that Christ died to give you a future.  He reached down and took you this far and he has the power to take you to the end!

 

Dear Lord, I pray for all who visit here to understand the truth of this message.  May  you lift up those who are struggling and bring them to a place of your peace.  May they know beyond a doubt that you are always with them.  Amen

We are in this world but not of it

 As the world news reports the crisis situations of wars, famines, floods, tornadoes, and every evil under the sun, there emerges a question that each person must ask and that is,  “Who am I following?”.

Your whole life comes down to a choice in this world that is perishing right before our eyes.  Whatever occupies the majority of your thoughts and your time  is a key indicator of where you are in your relationship with Christ.  We who belong to Christ are called to live as aliens on this earth. Those who seek the  kingdom to God are never satisfied with the pleasures of this world.  The temporal riches in life can bring more problems than happiness.  True joy comes from serving God as only those things which you have surrendered to him will last.  As each day brings another set of difficulties,  your faith will soon come with a  price.  Jesus tells us  about this in John 15:18-19:

 If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

For you to belong to Christ, you must seek the things of his kingdom.  If you are too comfortable with the ways of this world, you may need to examine your relationship with Christ.  Many people live as if this earth was all that mattered.  They are deceived into thinking that they can conform to the world and still be a follower of Christ.  You can’t serve two masters.  One will always trump  the other. It is only the narrow path that leads to eternal life.  The enemy will always try to lead you down the wide road of destruction as he compromises the truth to fit your lifestyle.  It is a life that will never bring you joy and blessings.  You can’t be “almost” saved to get to heaven.  When Christ reveals himself to you, there is a radical transformation as your heart of stone is replaced by a  heart of flesh that seeks after the will of God.  And while there is a process of learning to walk in the ways of righteousness; a man born of God will turn from evil as his renewed spirit is led to follow Christ. 

My dear friends, if you truly want victory in your life, there is just one way to have it.  It is only by living the crucified life of Christ that you find peace and joy despite your troubles.  It is at the foot of the cross that your weaknesses have been made strong and your burdens have been lifted.  There is no bondage that can hold a believer who has been set free by the blood of Christ.  All of your struggles are working out an eternal, divine purpose to equip you for his good work.  In every battle, you are surrounded by the army of the living God who has given his angels charge over your welfare.

As I write this message, there are fellow believers living in restricted and hostile nations who do not have the freedom to worship as they please. They have chosen to risk their lives for Christ.  They are not looking for seeker-friendly churches with watered down gospel messages.  They are searching for the pure truth despite the consequences.  Some have watched as family and friends have been tortured or killed for their faith.  Through it all, they do not waver in their resolve to follow the way of the cross.  That is true victory!  That is the power of Christ making strong those who are willing to suffer for him.  That is the kind of faith that defies all understanding. 

I know that there are those who visit this site who are enduring trials and heartaches of every kind.  The increase of evil everywhere has darkened this world,  but nothing can quench the fire of a believer who trusts in the promises of Christ.  The fact is that your problems are never able to destroy you.  They are allowed by Christ only to take you from where you are to where he is!   As difficult as it may seem, you must not grow weary and give up.  In your struggle, don’t look at your circumstance, look to your God! You have reason to hope because the One who gave you life holds your future in his hands.

In a time when nothing is certain, you must choose to follow in the ways of truth.  Jesus is coming to take those with him who have shown themselves to be true daughters and sons.  You need only look around you and watch the news to understand that he is coming soon! While there is still time, give your heart to Christ.  Surrender all you have to get all that he has for you.  Your eternity depends on it!

I am praying for all who come to this site who are uncertain of their future.  May you understand that with Jesus there is a way to know for sure.  If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at: commish07@zoominternet.net.   Let Christ lead you to the truth.  You are never alone.

 

  “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Psalm 55:22)

I know that times are tough and everyone is being hit with seemingly endless trials and tribulations.   As the devil realizes that his time is growing short, the furor of hell has darkened this earth. We are living in a time of deception when many are compromising the truth.  In an attempt to mollify those who just want to hear what tickles the ear,  false teachers have watered down the gospel to the extent that even the devil isn’t offendedIt is no wonder that as life’s storms grow fiercer, many people are having difficulty trusting that God’s power is enough. 

The absolute truth to this is that Christ  will always have the authority over everything that touches your life.  God does not take a walk to the other side of heaven and forget about your pain and heartache. He sees each tear you shed.  He has a full view of all that concerns you.  All the storms in a believer’s life are permitted for an eternal reason. You are being made stronger and  powerfully equipped for battle as you  grow in your understanding of  God’s limitless power.  

It was with this knowledge that Job was able to cry out , “I know my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth” ( Job 19:25).  Despite losing his children, his fortune and his health, Job still believed that God was with him!  He said of God, “When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:9-10)  You don’t have to see God to know that he is with you every second and leading you on the path that he has chosen for you long before the foundation of the earth. The devil himself can see God’s presence and protection surrounding you.  One thing I have said before but is important enough to say again and that is that everything that comes against you MUST bow to the will of God for your life! You have nothing to fear for God will be with you to the end.

The perfect love of Christ breaks the bondage of fear.  You belong to Christ and his will for your life cannot be hindered by any of your problems or weaknesses.  Neither the world, the flesh nor the devil can alter the purpose and plan of God for you.  There are no impossible situations for God.  You need to look past the fiery furnace of every affliction and see the presence of Christ  who is there to protect you.  He alone has the final word on what happens to you in every circumstance.  Problems  increase when you start doubting that God will help you.  It always leads to failure when you can’t wait on God and  try to work things out your way.  Nothing will prevent Christ from completing the job he started in you.  Your pain will not crush you and it has no power to destroy you.  When you shrink back in fear over your problems, you allow the lie of Satan  to rule in your life. 

I know that you may be feeling overwhelmed by all that is causing you pain right now, but don’t give up. You need to remember that Jesus paid the price for you to have an abundant life in spite of all the troubles you face.  As he was dying on the cross for us, he cried out with his last breath, “IT IS FINISHED!”. That means that nothing on this earth can keep you in bondage! You have been set free.  Anything that opposes God’s will for you has now been rendered powerless.  The impact of those words should stay in your heart always.   Victory is living within you and the power that raised Christ from the dead is now your strength.  The trial you are in cannot take you from God’s sight nor stop him from helping you.

In order to defeat the enemy, you must know the truth.  In James 4:7, we read, “Submit yourselves; then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you“. The main command is to “submit yourselves to God” first.  It is by humbling yourself before him and trusting that he will help you that you get all the strength that you need to make the devil and his schemes flee from you!   The forces of hell shudder at the sight of one believer in prayer who trusts that God can do all things. 

YOU are that believer!  Let go of the lies and begin to trust in the power of God.  He will keep you in his perfect peace beyond your power to understand.  You can take God at his word who says: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.” ( Isaiah 26:3)

God is with you and I will be praying for you. You are never alone!

                                                                

 For a little while, you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials (1Peter 1:6)   

                                         

It is hard to understand the ways of God when the battle is raging and you are surrounded by the enemy. Going through a painful trial or heartache can bring you down lower than you have ever been.  It can seem unbearable and crushing especially when you don’t understand why God would allow this struggle in your life. How can the torment that you are experiencing be part of God’s perfect plan for you? It just doesn’t make sense.

 We read in James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him”.  Each struggle brings an opportunity for God to manifest more of his power in you. It is his strength to take us through to the end and our training for the royalty that awaits us in heaven. Yet, there are still times when the answer to our prayers for help seems so far away.

Even knowing God has a purpose for our trials, the things that come against us in this world will never make sense to us.  However, the divine purpose for all we endure must complete its work in us.  Even Jesus knew that he had to endure great pain that we might be redeemed.   In Luke 22:43-44 we read that Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray before he was to be crucified.  With great anguish over what he was to suffer, his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Yet as he obeyed his Father’s will, an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.  Jesus understood that there were eternal implications in all that he had to endure. He willingly gave his life that we might be saved. 

As a believer, you should understand that God will also send his angels to strengthen and comfort you as you grow weary from the battles of this world.  He will never let you stand alone and carry burdens that are much too heavy for you.  The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from their trials. His purpose in allowing pain in your life is to develop you into the image of Christ and to actually make you stronger for the journey set for you. In 2 Corinthians, God’s word says that you may be hard pressed on all sides but never crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but never abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. The storms of this life can rock your boat but Jesus has promised that you will get to the destination that he planned for you before you were born.  When you can trust God despite your broken heart, you defeat the father of lies who wants you to forget that Jesus paid the price for your victory.  All the troubles that we must face are obtaining for us an eternal reward that will last forever. You must keep your eyes on Jesus who is able to keep you in his peace even when you don’t understand the purpose for your pain. 

Scripture says that after losing his children, his wealth and his health, Job cried out, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him” (Job 13:13). God had a purpose in allowing Job to go through such a trial.  Ultimately, Satan was defeated and Job received a great reward.  He was given beautiful children, greater wealth and a longer life because he trusted God when even when all was taken.

God’s purpose and plan will forever stand though the earth may be shaken.  God’s ways are much higher than the logic of this world so you must trust him even when you don’t understand.  There is nothing you are suffering that God didn’t plan in advance to take you through. May it help you to know that there are believers praying for you right now and that God’s love for you will never fail!

Dear Lord, I am praying now for those who are enduring great hardship and pain in their lives. Although they are struggling to stand in their faith, they have become weary and need a touch from you.  I pray that you will give them a very real sense of your presence in all that they are going through.  I pray that you will fill them with your peace and will open their eyes to know that you are with them despite the fierce storm that is all around them.  Help them to continue to walk in trust knowing that you will never fail them and that your divine purpose in their lives cannot be stopped by the enemy of this world. Amen

    ( Picture by Francesco Cosi)

            The righteous cry out and the LORD hears them (Psalm 34:17)

It is obvious that so many believers are growing weary in these dark days of oppression that we live.  Struggles surround us at every corner and it is hard to stave off the growing fears of uncertainty.  We were told in Scripture that these times would come and test the faithful, but how do we keep standing when the ground is trembling and darkness is filling the sky?

Fear is a tool that the enemy uses to take your focus from the truth.  When you understand that your hope in Christ is secure, you can cease striving. There is nothing that is going to destroy a believer who is holding onto the promises that Jesus died to give.  Your future is never determined by your circumstance.  Trials that you face are only the wind that brings you closer to God.   Every single one of your struggles are used by God to equip you for the battles that come against you.

  Throughout the bible, God allowed his people to be taken to the end of their own strength but yet they were conquerors over all that came against them.  It was in the lion’s den that Daniel watched as his God shut the mouths of the lions and brought him safely out.   The three Jewish boys were bound and thrown into the furnace for refusing to bow in worship to Nebuchadnezzar.(Daniel 3)  Yet it was there that  they came face to face with the Son of God who protected them from even the smell of  fire and smoke. Young David ran against the giant, Goliath, in the power of the God in whom he trusted.  He never doubted that his God could save him as he killed that heathen Philistine with just a stone.  King Hezekiah cried out to his God for help when the Assyrian army was surrounding his people on all sides.  He had no power to face this mighty army but his God did!  We are told in 2 Kings 19:35, ” That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning – there were all dead bodies!”   It was God who fought their battle and saved them.  You need to understand clearly that when you are in Christ, you are a force to be reckoned with!

Beloved, you must understand that no battle you ever face is hopeless.   You don’t need to run from your problems; you just need to turn to your God!  Never lose faith when you get to the end of your ability for it is at that point that you  discover the all-encompassing power of  God.  Jesus paid the price for our redemption and to give us a future with hope.  The enemy may prowl around trying to  rob you of your joy but he can never steal the future that Christ paid with his blood.  Death has no sting for Jesus overcame the grave.  All of your momentary trials are working out a divine purpose to prepare you for the royalty that awaits you in eternity.  Your painful situation has a time to end.  God knows how to take you from your distress and into his peace if you will just surrender to him. 

We are living in a time like no other.  We are watching as  wars, famines, floods, severe weather, poverty, sickness of all kinds of evil are permeating this entire world.  The hearts of many have grown cold as marriages are failing, evil and violence are increasing and all forms of perversions are becoming common. The only hope we have is the enduring love of Christ who will never fail.  He is called Faithful and True and he is  ready to return and gather those who love him. 

May you know this day that you are never out of God’s sight for a second.  Whatever you are suffering is before the eyes of God.  Remember,  “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”. (Psalm 34:18)

 

Dear Lord,  I am praying for those who are struggling with a painful situation in their lives.  They feel like they are losing in the battle that they face.  I pray for your peace and strength to fill them.  Let them know without a doubt that you are with them to the end.  For those who have financial problems – may you meet them and provide for what they need.  Those who have marriage and relationship problems – may you join them in peace and restore their families.  I pray for you to heal the pain of those who are sick or who have lost a loved one.  May you comfort and heal those who are in serious bondage to alcohol or drugs.  I pray for your favor in their lives in all that they need.  And may they know that you will not fail them no matter how impossible their problem is to them. Amen.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)

It is  hard to release all of our hopes and fears and trust that God has a better way for our lives. When you try to work things out as the world does, you are headed for failure.  Charles Spurgeon once wrote:  “You cannot grow in grace to any high degree while you are conformed to the world“. That which you won’t surrender to God will be the foothold  that the enemy uses to take you down.   All that you have that is good has been given you by God. There is nothing that you can keep except that which you give up. 

Jesus calls for us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and yet that is very difficult to do when you let the influences of this lost world cloud your judgment.  The darkness of these present times can fill you with fear when it seems like God isn’t showing up in time to help you through a crisis. Some  people are suffering with the pain of a serious or terminal illness. Many are  facing monumental financial difficulties as they battle to survive past the list of endless bills.    Marriages are under attack as Satan has targeted families for destruction.  Drugs and alcohol are literally robbing people of their future.  Pornography is a deadly addiction that poisons and  imprisons its victims.  Sadly, lies from hell are being traded for the truth by the lost everywhere.  Many in our country and in the world are now accepting evil as good.

Yet, despite the battles that rage all around,  Jesus promised believers that he would fill them with the peace that surpasses all understanding.  That peace only comes by trusting and following the path of Christ.  You cannot seek out the riches and glory of this world and expect that God’s peace will reign in your heart. I can’t put it more clearly than to say outright that if you live in rebellion to God, you will never be happy!  You will always be searching and never be satisfied.  The true joy that comes only from a relationship with Christ is found nowhere else.  Nothing that you can attain on this earth will last forever or prevent you from dying one day.  But those who seek Christ and his kingdom, all that is good will be added to their life.  As a believer you understand that  death has no power except to release you to be with God in his kingdom forever.

While all will suffer in this life, God works everything for the good those who belong to him.   The temporary struggles you face have divine ramifications as the hand of God uses them to form and shape you into the image of Jesus.  We read in 1 Peter 5:10, “And the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast“.  After you have been through your painful trial, God himself lifts you up and restores you to wholeness.  You can’t lose in the battle you are in so hang on and know the power that lives in you.  Never surrender your joy no matter how dark your situation may appear.  God always has a way to take you through it if you will believe and wait on his timing   God ‘s power is  more than enough for all that you need.  You should  keep that truth in your heart!

Dear Lord, I know that many are struggling in areas of their lives and they wonder if you truly care about what they are going through.  I pray that you draw near to them in their pain and give them the strength they need to believe that you will not fail them.  May you give them a very real sense of your peace as  you work out all their difficulties and make them strong, firm and steadfast in their faith.  I pray this in the power of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

 

 

Times are tough and the days are growing short.  It is difficult to stand in faith as the darkness fills the world.  Sometimes the pain we experience is just too much for us to bear.  Many may wonder if God is truly with them in all things. For instance, where is God when a loved one dies or when bad things happen to innocent people? This question and other similar ones have troubled believers everywhere.

 

The truth that remains is that God is with us in everything and anything that comes against us.  God’s plan was for us to live in paradise with him forever, but because of man’s sin, death and destruction came into our world. But the love of God never left us.

 

Sin is rebellion against God and it allowed Satan and his demons to roam this earth seeking to destroy us.  We were doomed. “But God so loved the world that he sent his only Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16)

His love for us was so great that he was willing to sacrifice the blood of his Son Jesus to bring us back to fellowship with him.

 

God’s love for us continues even though we are sinners who turned from the ways of God.  To the ends of the earth, God has sent his word to seek out the lost and offer the free gift of salvation through the cross of Jesus. And though this world is perishing, those whose hope is in Christ will never be destroyed.  Death that can take the body can never touch the soul of a believer.  Jesus said in John 5:24, “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” That means that no sickness,financial problems, divorce, pain or even death can end God’s promise for us of victory and eternity with him. 

 

Life on this earth is fleeting.  Eternity with God is never-ending and it is there that you will understand that the storms in your life were only the winds that brought you closer to the reward that God has prepared for you.  You will know then that God never left your side despite what you had to suffer.  The strength to endure and not to fear was always with you and that his power was manifested in your weakness.

 

There will always be death and evil on this earth until Jesus comes back.  That is why as believers we must not conform to this world but be set apart.  We must live different lives and not react as those who have no hope.  The sickness or loss of someone close to us may tear at our heart, but our strength must come from the hope that God has given us.

 

Our life on this earth is not the end.  Innocent people will continue to suffer at the hands of evildoers and sickness will take loved ones from this earth, but God’s justice and purpose will always prevail.  We must trust that God will use for good all that comes against us.

 

The Apostle Paul suffered torture and pain in his life, but he knew that it was all going to be used for the glory of God.  For him, to die was gain but to live was for Christ.  He knew that God had an eternal purpose for everything that he had to endure.

 

When we don’t understand the reason God allows pain and suffering in our lives and those whom we love, we must have faith that God is always at work in us, and that those who endure to the end will receive the reward that far outweighs it all! The trials of this earth are temporary, but the reward of God is eternal.  For now, I pray that you understand that God will be with you in your pain and will take you through the valley of your tears.  He is always faithful!

 

Dear Lord,  the pain and burdens of this world can bring us to our knees.  Sometimes we falter in our faith as we struggle against the war that the enemy is waging against us.  I pray that those who may have experienced a loss of a loved one or who is being overwhelmed by a situation that seems hopeless.  Fill them with your peace and love.  May they know that no problem is bigger than the God that they serve. Help them to understand that your ways are higher and better than ours.  Give them the strength to persevere in the battle and to keep their eyes on you.  Your perfect plan for their life will never fail!  We give you praise. Amen.

 

(Photo by Rob Bohning)

                                                            

 

The hope of victory in all of the battles you face in this world starts with absolute surrender to Jesus Christ.   It is only when you are willing to trust him with your weaknesses that he can make you strong in his power.  Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “For when I am weak, then I am strong-the less I have, the more I depend on him”.  Paul understood that he could not endure on his own all the persecutions and hardships he suffered.  His strength came from knowing that Jesus was using the pain he suffered to overcome his weaknesses.  Paul was made stronger with every battle that Jesus took him through. He knew that even death had no power over him.  For that reason Paul was able to say in Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is for Christ and to die is gain.”

 

It is only by the strength of Christ who lives in us that we can overcome all the forces of evil that try to defeat us everyday.  There is no stronghold in your life that can destroy you when you have put your faith in Jesus.  He is all that you need because he alone can do all things.  By his death and resurrection, Jesus has freed you from the chains of bondage to sin.  You now can have peace in the midst of a storm because you know that God’s purpose for your life cannot be stopped.  The enemy cannot steal your joy when you are in a painful trial because Jesus is always with you and he has promised you a reward that far outweighs all that you are going through.  Although we live in a lost world, we can stand firmly in the hope that Christ has made us joint heirs with him in a kingdom that will never be destroyed. 

 

The struggles of this world may make you weary but they are no match for the promises of God who has made us more than conquerors.  The enemy roams this earth trying to fill you with his lies of hopelessness and defeat.   But Jesus came to bring light and truth to a dark world so that we can live without fear knowing that he will bring us through all of our problems.  You need to know that you have an eternal hope in Jesus Christ and he will never fail you.  It does not matter what heartache or pain you are in, his love is able to heal and comfort you.  The peace that God brings can sustain you in even the darkest storm if you are willing to trust him. We read in 2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him”.  Jesus is the only force you need to stay strong in the battle because his blood on Calvary paid the price for your victory

 

The best thing about the love of Christ is that he is willing to meet you where you are. He wants to give you his power to overcome your weaknesses.  He wants to restore your life and give you a future. He wants to give you victory over all that comes against you. And most importantly, Jesus wants to give you eternal life with him in heaven. Your problems and failures can never stop God from restoring you to wholeness and giving you a future despite the hopelessness of your situation.. He will always make a way when there is none!

 

Salvation is found only in Jesus. There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)  It is my prayer that you will call upon his name today. His love will be sufficient to do the rest. 

 

 

 

Marianne Bernard

Marianne Bernard

I seek first the kingdom of Christ because everything else in this world is perishing. All that I have is from God who is always faithful. I have worked hard all my life and will continue as long as God lends me breath. The mistakes and bad judgments I made in my life all stemmed from me trying to work things out by myself. I have learned the hard way that the victory over all of my problems and the answers to all of my desires lie solely in my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is now my desire to share the words that God gives me to encourage and give hope to others who need the strength that only faith in Christ can give.

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